Description : E-Commerce Times: the E-Business and Technology Super Site
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Mobile Banking on a Tear, Says Fed
The Federal Reserve Board has released its fourth annual study of consumers' mobile commerce behaviors. The report shows a continued boom in banking on mobile phones and other devices rather than at a teller desk. Central to the report's findings is the growing number of"banked"consumers -- those with full access to bank services -- who also use a smartphone.
Amazon Fires 1st Shot in Storage Price War
Amazon on Thursday announced two new plans for unlimited storage in its Cloud Drive service. The Unlimited Photos plan includes 5 GB of additional storage for videos or other documents and files. It costs $11.99 per year. The Unlimited Everything option provides limitless cloud storage of photos, videos, movies, music and files for $59.99 per year. Both plans come with a free three-month trial.
Optimizing the Brick-and-Mortar Customer Experience
The retail industry has finally awakened to what customers always have known -- they don't distinguish too much between channels. Modern shoppers are happy to embrace the immediacy and experience of the physical store while also benefiting from the informed and personalized ease of shopping online. Retailers should translate the smartest online strategies into their in-store experience.
FTC Blasts WSJ's 'Misleading Narrative' on Google
FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, along with Commissioners Julie Brill and Maureen Ohlausen, on Wednesday released a statement reaffirming the agency's decision not to prosecute Google over its search practices, and insisting it was in line with the recommendations of the FTC's staff. The statement refutes"recent press reports"suggesting Google got special treatment due to its political influence.
Google Glass Should Stay Gone
Here we go again. Most everyone who thought Google Glass crossed the privacy line was happy when it appeared the new technology was being shelved. Not so fast. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt says Google is not giving up on Glass. Like everyone else, I love new technology. However sometimes companies and their tech staff cross over the line and don't see it the way the rest of the world sees it.
Time's Up for Legacy ERP
It takes prodigious amounts of cash to launch a company these days and that's especially true when trying to insert a new idea like cloud ERP into the collective consciousness. FinancialForce today announced a financing round of $110 million from lead investor Technology Crossover Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures, which is Salesforce's corporate investment group.
Lawyers Pull Out Stops in Pao Trial Closing Arguments
Attorneys on Wednesday advanced their closing arguments in the $16 million sex discrimination suit brought by Ellen Pao against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield&Byers. Final arguments in the trial, which has been ongoing in the Superior Court in San Francisco for about a month, began Tuesday with Pao's attorney, Alan Exelrod, laying out his client's case.
FAA's Sluggish Pace Frustrates Amazon's Drone Ambitions
For one brief shining moment, it appeared that Amazon and the FAA were in concert on outdoor drone testing in the U.S., but in testimony before a Senate subcommittee hearing held Tuesday, Amazon put paid to that notion. Although the FAA last week granted Amazon permission to conduct outdoor tests, the unmanned aircraft system covered by the authorization is no longer in use.
Self-Service and the 'R' in CRM
Self-service is generally considered a good thing, especially in CRM, where there has been significant investment in empowering people to take on more responsibility for provisioning service or making purchases. But it's not all great, and there is some interesting blowback that is causing vendors to reconsider how their offerings work. In sales, self-service has resulted in truncated sales cycles.
Facebook Aims to Turn Social Media Into 'the' Media
Facebook reportedly has been talking with multiple news organizations about hosting their content on its network, rather than linking to their websites. No deal has been finalized, butThe New York Times, BuzzFeed andNational Geographicare among its first likely partners. They may be interested in negotiating with Facebook now because they understand change is inevitable.
Apple Execs Rave About Jobs' Bio They Helped Write
A new book about Steve Jobs hit store shelves Tuesday amid rave reviews -- from Apple executives. Apple execs not only praised the book, but also took the unusual step of providing interviews for it. The unauthorized biography --Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli -- promises to reveal a more personal side of Apple's cofounder.
Microsoft's Novel Windows 10 Antipiracy Plan
Microsoft this summer will distribute Windows 10 to anyone running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1, regardless of whether the existing OS is a genuine or pirated copy. Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's operating systems unit, disclosed the marketing strategy last week at the WinHEC summit in China. Some 74 percent of all commercial software used in China is pirated, according to BSA.
T-Mobile Sows Seeds of Discontent in SMB Arena
Following a sterling Q4 in which it added 2.1 million individual customers, T-Mobile last week announced it was going after competitors with its"Un-carrier for Business"plan. By offering one flexible rate plan, T-Mobile vowed to put an end to the pricing shell game and compulsory haggling businesses currently experience. T-Mobile's Simple Choice for Business plans have a 10-line minimum.
5 Crafty Customer-Retention Strategies
Remember all those hours you spent at the mall just hanging out, not buying a thing? Well, a lot of us just never grew up. We just moved our hangout from the local mall to the Internet. We meet our friends online, we order food online, and we window-shop online. It's a good life. That is, it's good unless you are at the receiving end of this online voyeurism.
Amazon Expands Free 2-Hour Delivery to Baltimore, Miami
Amazon on Thursday expanded Prime Now, its one-hour fulfillment service, to select ZIP codes in Miami and Baltimore. The service -- which delivers thousands of products, including groceries -- eventually will blanket both cities. Strategically placed warehouses in Baltimore and Miami now can respond to orders placed using the Prime Now app. Prime Now made its debut in New York City in December.
Did VMware Flout Open Source License Terms?
The Software Freedom Conservancy earlier this month announced that it was funding a lawsuit filed by Linux kernel developer Christoph Hellwig against VMware in the district court of Hamburg in Germany. The conservancy entered a grant agreement with Hellwig for the legal action. Its funding of the legal action is part of the program activity of its GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers.
Quosal Lets Salespeople Add Video Spiels to Quotes
Quosal has announced a new feature that lets salespeople record a personal explanatory video to go with their quotes and proposals. Videos can be posted directly to Quosal's proprietary Order Porter purchasing experience for clients."If the video can take the load off of having to read all of a proposal -- or, more likely, explain some gray areas -- then great,"said analyst Denis Pombriant.
PlayStation Vue Could Put Cable TV in Rear-View Mirror
Sony on Wednesday launched its PlayStation Vue streaming service in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. A combination of live and on-demand TV with a cloud-based DVR, Vue is available on the PS4 and PS3 in those cities. Users' favorite shows and channels will be right on the home screen whenever they fire up the service. The DVR lets users save favorite shows and store them for up to 28 days.
SXSW Runs on Wireless Carriers' Well-Oiled Machines
At this year's South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals in Austin, Texas, more than 150,000 new people have entered the major wireless carriers' network space. Nearly every one of them has a phone for making voice calls or using the Web. How do wireless carriers handle such a demand surge? That's one of the big challenges facing AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile.
Apple's TV Plans Come Into Focus
Apple is expected to launch a Web-TV service this fall, offering 25 channels of content from various providers. Its pending move"is yet another sign that the traditional pay-TV provider lock on programming distribution continues to erode,"said IDC analyst Greg Ireland."The availability of more options ... will attract attention from cord-cutters and current pay-TV subscribers alike."
Nintendo Makes the Leap to Smartphones and Tablets
Nintendo has reached an agreement that will see its beloved intellectual property finally arrive on mobile devices, CEO Satoru Iwata announced Tuesday at a hastily called briefing. Mobile publisher DeNA and Nintendo have entered a capital alliance, in which they'll trade a portion of their stock and develop games for smart devices. Nintendo will acquire 10 percent of DeNA's outstanding shares.